Healthy Eating…Eat Smart…Lemongrass Salad…


Carol Taylor is celebrating her loss of 14lbs.. and shares her strategies.. like giving up alcohol for the last 11 weeks, biscuits and haribos sweets. She is also walking more, sleeps better and feels great.. Making sweeping changes might sound effective but it is the small tweaks that can make a difference.. head over and read the entire post.

Retired? No one told me!

Good morning…I hope all of you who celebrate Easter have had a great one…I hope you have enjoyed the Easter goodies, Hot Cross Buns and Easter eggs…I don’t think now there are any official holidays and celebrations before Christmas where copious amounts of Chocolate are on sale …Are there???

Then let’s begin our healthy eating in earnest… But before we do let’s just take a minute to remember all those poor souls who lost their lives, limbs or a loved one(s) in the Easter bombings…Pray for universal Peace…

Lighted candles

Photo credit: abitarroza on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Nelson Mandela…No One is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, background or religion. People learn to hate and if they can learn to hate they can learn to love…

Eat Smart…Now to the way forward… Luckily (as) I really did fancy an easter egg…There are not…

View original post 1,296 more words

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer – Baby farming in the late-Victorian Era Britain and Amelia Dyer by Robbie Cheadle


They were not really the good old days, especially for women and children, particularly the babies. Robbie Cheadle shares the truly terrible tale of Amelia Dyer……

Baby farming in the late-Victorian Era Britain and Amelia Dyer by Robbie Cheadle

What is baby farming?

Baby farming during late-Victorian Era Britain was the practice whereby individuals acted as adoption or fostering agents for children and infants in return for either an up-front payment or monthly payments from the mother.

Although baby farmers were supposed to provide care for the children they took into their custody, the name developed due to the fact this was rarely the case and improper treatment of the children frequently occurred.

A related business was the practice of taking in young expectant women and caring for them until they gave birth. Many of these women subsequently left their unwanted babies after the birth to be looked after as “nurse children”.

Unscrupulous baby farmers often starved the babies in their care, either to save money or to hasten their deaths. Alcohol and/or opiates, particularly Godfrey’s Cordial also known as Mother’s Friend, was administered to noisy and troublesome babies in order to sedate them. Such babies usually died of starvation and severe malnutrition as the opium made them disinclined for food.

Why did the practice of baby farming come about?

In 1834 the poor Law Amendment Act was introduced in Britain which removed any financial obligation from the fathers of illegitimate children. This left unmarried mothers in a dire financial position as single parenthood and illegitimacy were stigmatized by the society of the time.

Amelia Dyer

Amelia Dyer is credited with being one of the most prolific murderers in British history. Dyer was hanged in 1896 for the murder of a baby girl but there was little doubt at the time that she was responsible for many more infant and child deaths.

Amelia Dyer turned to baby farming following the death of her husband, George Thomas. George was thirty-five years older than Amelia and the couple had a daughter together before he died, leaving Amelia a single mother to a newborn baby.

Amelia started advertising in local newspapers, claiming to be a respectable married woman who would provide a safe and loving home for a child. Initially, Amelia allowed the babies to die of neglect and starvation, which involved the use of Mother’s Friend, but eventually she tired of waiting for the children to die and started murdering them soon after she received them. She strangled them with a length of white edging tape. She is later quoted as saying about the white tape “[that] was how you could tell it was one of mine.”

It is estimated that Amelia Dyer murdered over 400 babies and children, making her Britain’s most prolific female serial killer. She was also known by the name of “angel maker” and the “Ogress of Reading.”

What does this have to do with my writing?

My main character, Margaret, in my new horror/supernatural young adult book due to be published in early September makes a visit to Hell. While there she comes across several famous historical mass murderers as well as perpetrators of other crimes. I wanted the lady who looked after Margaret during her time in Hell to be sufficiently well know that most readers would recognize her. A Google search of famous British female serial killers led me immediately to Amelia Dyer.

I did now about the practice of baby farming in Victorian England due to my numerous readings of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. In this book, Oliver spends his early years in a baby farm before being removed to the workhouse by Mr Bumble.

Amelia caught my fancy and so I decided she would be Margaret’s housekeeper in Through the Nethergate. She does suffer some rather horrible punishments for her sins in my version of Hell. In order to understand her character, I wrote an entire story about her fascinating history and this became my story Justice is Never Served which is one of three short stories I submitted for the anthology, Death Among Us.

Writing Amelia’s story required extensive research as she is a real character so the underlying facts must be correct. I read up on Amelia Dyer on about fifteen different historical websites and I also read some historical and recent newspaper articles about her life and case. It took me about four days to check and cross-check all the information and then I set about turning it into a story with a supernatural twist.

Who knew death could be so eclectic? Relish this mesmerizing murder mystery mash-up of short stories.

The stories include the 2019 SIA Award-Winning Murder Mystery Short Story ‘The Rose Slayer.’

Murder and mystery have been the staple of literature and films for years. This anthology of short stories will thrill and entertain you. Some will also make you laugh out loud. Others will stop and make you think.

Think of this murder mystery short story anthology as a book version of appetizers or starters, hors d’oeuvre, meze, or antipasti. It can be read as fillers between books or, as is the case in some countries, as a bookish meze – in its own right.

These stories come from an international cast of authors; some with bestselling books, others are emerging or new talents. Their roots, cultures, and life experiences are as diverse as their writing styles.

But one thing binds them together: they know how to tell a story.

There’s murder mystery styles and locations to suit all tastes: detective fiction, serial killers, scifi, histfic, Paris, LA, England, the Caribbean, The Great Lakes, and more in an exquisite exposition of the art of short story telling.

The eleven authors who have contributed to the anthology are:

• Stephen Bentley
• Greg Alldredge
• Kelly Artieri
• Brenda Mohammed
• L. Lee Kane
• Michael Spinelli
• Sansriti Johri
• Robbie Cheadle
• Kay Castaneda
• Justin Bauer
• Aly Locatelli

Each author introduces his or her stories and the theme that lies behind them.By the time you finish the book, you will agree the result is a mesmerizing murder mystery mash-up

Link to pre-order Death Among Us on Amazon 99c: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QK3GNNX

And on Amazon UK 99p: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Death-Among-Us-Anthology-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07QK3GNNX/

About Robbie Cheadle

Robbie, short for Roberta, is an author with five published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with her son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about her mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with her mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton). All of Robbie’s children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications. Robbie has recently branched into adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential her children’s books from her adult writing, these will be published under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. Robbie has two short stories in the horror/supernatural genre included in Dark Visions, a collection of 34 short stories by 27 different authors and edited by award winning author, Dan Alatorre. These short stories are published under Robbie Cheadle.

I have been drawn to the horror and supernatural genres of books all my life. At the age of ten years old I embarked on reading Stephen King’s books including The Shining and Salem’s Lot. These books scared me so much I had to put them aside by 6P.M. in the evening in order to get a good night’s sleep but they also fascinated me. I subsequently worked my way through all of Stephen King’s earlier books as well as those of Dean R. Koontz.

I have read a large number of classics, in particular, I enjoy Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Charles Dickens and the works of the Bronte sisters.

I am hugely interested in the history of the United Kingdom as well as the mythology and tales of the paranormal that are abundant on this intriguing European island.

A selection of books by Robbie Cheadle

One of the recent reviews for Sir Chocolate and the Fondant Five Story and Cookbook

Robbie Cheadle’s Sir Chocolate and the Fondant Five story and cookbook (2019) is the next in the author’s delightful series of books that blend children’s stories with themed original recipes. This one is a clever story poem about the disappearance of zoo animals and how Sir Chocolate must figure out what happened.

“One day Sir Chocolate arrived, and not a sound could hear, he called long and loud, but no animals did appear. The animals had vanished, the zoo was empty and still,”

“The monkey is naughty, he likes to have fun, he plays tricks on the others, then away he does run.”

The story is written in the format of a poem and includes great photographs that help readers visualize the action. At the completion of the story, there is a cute poem to introduce an original collection of animal-themed recipes children can complete with their parents. Some of the recipes are:

* Sir Chocolate peppermint caramel pudding
* Cheetah Cheese scones
* Rino Soetkoekies

I have bought several of these books because I love the idea of blending a story with cooking and inspiring kids and parents to spend time together. I also love that Robbie writes these books with her son, Michael, each doing their part in writing, cooking, and photographing. Overall, this is another excellent book in a clever collection that not only entertains but brings parents and kids together.

Read all the reviews and buy the books:https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ

Read more reviews and follow Robbie on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584446.Robbie_Cheadle

Other places to connect to Robbie Cheadle

Website/Blog Roberta Writes: https://robertawrites235681907.wordpress.com/
Blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/
Website: https://bakeandwrite.co.za/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SirChocolateBooks/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/bakeandwrite

Thank you for visiting and reading this fascinating post by Robbie Cheadle… Quite an extraordinary story of evil at a time when women and babies were already so vulnerable.

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Jack Eason, M. J. Mallon, Bette A. Stevens and Olga Nunez Miret


Welcome to the slightly delayed first author update of the week and I hope you all had a great Easter…The first author with a recent review is Jack Eason for Race Against Time.

About the book

In 2012, many otherwise rational people had convinced themselves that because the Mayan calendar stopped at December 21st of that year, that we were about to enter the biblical end of days. But it didn’t happen. Why are we still alive? Read the archaeological adventure Race Against Time for one possible explanation.

One of the recent review for the book

Beetleypete VINE VOICE 5.0 out of 5 stars Old school adventure, brought bang up to date. 15 April 2019

Combining archaeology with adventure, then adding a touch of science fiction, this enjoyable roller-coaster of a story packs in a host of fascinating characters too. From eminent academics, to the Russian Mafia, Vatican cardinals, and even a beautiful female alien, everyone in this book is wonderfully described, until you can picture them all on their hazardous quest.

Using a theory of how Earth was once populated, and protected from natural disaster, we are taken on a world tour of interesting ancient archaeological sites. Each one holds part of the key that will save mankind from destruction, and our heroes must combat not only a secret organisation, but also the ancient demon it serves. This is not ‘Raiders of The Lost Ark’, but it has equally exciting elements, and a tension that endures right to the last of its 158 pages.

The author undoubtedly knows his stuff, and compliments that knowledge with detailed research, convincing geographical detail, and a wide understanding of travel by sea and by road. And he also knows when to insert the required action, so that no chapter is ever dry, or feels dull to read. I finished it in just two sessions, keen to discover the fate of the characters that I had readily invested in.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01LW4MBTF

and on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LW4MBTF

A small selection of other books by Jack Eason

Discover all of Jack Eason’s books and read the reviews: https://www.amazon.com/Jack-Eason/e/B003MEA7AY/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jack-Eason/e/B003MEA7AY

Follow Jack and read other reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4026249.Jack_Eason

Connect to Jack via his website: https://havewehadhelp.wordpress.com/

The next author with a recent review is children’s author Bette A. Stevens for Amazing Matilda the Monarch Butterfly and it continues to delight its young readers of all ages. Only 99p/99c until April 26th.

About Amazing Matilda

Inspire the Kids in Your Life to Meet Challenges with Patience and Persistence!
This inspirational tale of a Monarch butterfly and her meadowland friends is the second children’s book written and illustrated by Bette A. Stevens.

Packed with action and adventure, this book is sure to entertain and inspire.

TWO LITERARY AWARDS–Excellence in Children’s Literature:
* 2013 Purple Dragonfly Book Award (Picture Books 6+)
* THE GITTLE LIST 2013 (Top 10 Self-published Children’s Picture Books)

Monarch Butterfly conservation is in the news. AMAZING MATILDA is too! Her storyline and illustrations follow the monarch life cycle and highlight milkweed, an environmentally threatened plant, the only food source for monarch caterpillars.

Get your FREE Autograph for your digital copy from author/illustrator Bette A. Stevens at http://www.4writersandreaders.com

One of the recent reviews for the book

Jacqui Murray VINE VOICE  5.0 out of 5 stars Move over Charlotte; pay attention PD  Eastman; Matilda has arrived April 13, 2019

Bette Stevens Amazing Matilda: The Tale of a Monarch Butterfly (CreateSpace 2012) is the story of tiny Matilda, a round white creature born from an egg in Nature’s garden with a burning desire to fly. Without wings, though, she knows that can’t happen. Matilda has no idea that in her life, she will morph from the crawly leaf-bound creature to a gorgeous monarch butterfly. She tells her animal friends about her passion to fly and they offer their stories of growing up as well as sage advice any parent would be envious of. For example, her friend Sparrow suggests:

“Just have patience and follow your instincts, my dear…”

Another friend suggests:

“I could do anything that I wanted to if I only tried long enough and hard enough.”

She is frustrated by this good-natured advice because she has no idea how to do what they suggest:

“Sparrow said that I must have patience and that I must follow my instincts. Now, you say I must have wings. Where can I find all of those things?”

As Matilda grows, she changes from a larva to pupa to a gorgeous winged adult. Each stage in Matilda’s amazing journey is accompanied with wonderful drawings that show her progress, who she meets, and how she changes.

As a result, readers are not just entertained by the story but happily learn about the development of a butterfly. There are lots of cute lines, such as:

“Matilda crunched and munched and lunched, leaf after leaf, day after day.”

If you loved P.D. Eastman’s incomparable book, Are You My Mother, about a baby bird’s search for its mother, you must read this book. If Charlotte’s Web is one of your childhood favorites, I say, Move over Charlotte. Matilda is now here!

This is a short book. In fact. This review is almost longer than the story!

Read some of the many reviews for the book 99c until 26th April: https://www.amazon.com/Amazing-Matilda-Monarchs-Bette-Stevens/dp/1470187663

And on Amazon UK 99/p until 26th April: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Amazing-Matilda-Childrens-Literature-Butterfly-ebook/dp/B00AU9ZISA

Also by Bette A. Stevens

Pure Trash Bette Stevens

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

Read more reviews and follow Bette on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6037707.Bette_A_Stevens

Connect to Bette via her website: https://4writersandreaders.com/

The next featured author is M. J. Mallon whose book The Curse of Time: Book One – Bloodstone, is a YA fantasy and science fiction adventure.

About The Curse of Time

On Amelina Scott’s thirteenth birthday, her father disappears under mysterious circumstances. Saddened by this traumatic event, she pieces together details of a curse that has stricken the heart and soul of her family.

Amelina longs for someone to confide in. Her once carefree mother has become angry and despondent. One day a strange black cat and a young girl, named Esme appear. Immediately, Esme becomes the sister Amelina never had. The only catch is that Esme must remain a prisoner, living within the mirrors of Amelina’s house.

Dreams and a puzzling invitation convince Amelina the answer to her family’s troubles lies within the walls of the illusive Crystal Cottage. Undaunted by her mother’s warnings, Amelina searches for the cottage on an isolated Cambridgeshire pathway where she encounters a charismatic young man, named Ryder. At the right moment, he steps out of the shadows, rescuing her from the unwanted attention of two male troublemakers.

With the help of an enchanted paint set, Amelina meets the eccentric owner of the cottage, Leanne, who instructs her in the art of crystal magic. In time, she earns the right to use three wizard stones. The first awakens her spirit to discover a time of legends, and later, leads her to the Bloodstone, the supreme cleansing crystal which has the power to restore the balance of time. Will Amelina find the power to set her family free?

A YA/middle grade fantasy set in Cambridge, England exploring various themes/aspects: Light, darkness, time, shadows, a curse, magic, deception, crystals, art, poetry, friendships, teen relationships, eating disorders, self-harm, anxiety, depression, family, puzzles, mystery, a black cat, music, a mix of sadness, counterbalanced by a touch of humour.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Forget your vampires and the dystopian future worlds, where you have to do some strange stuff for an undisclosed reason, I prefer a story that starts from a known place. You can get as weird as you like but please, make it a logical progression, not just the lazy ‘we’re in the future; civilisation as we know it is dead, this (insert some random game or test) is what happens these days, for no apparent reason’, sort of premise.

So, we meet Amelina, she’s just your standard teenage girl, I had three daughters; I get the comparison. And she’s a very well written character, as they all are. A little family weirdness, parents who have changed, from her perspective at the start it’s hard to see why. There’s a black cat who appears and a girl trapped in the mirrors in the house. And the obligatory interesting relative.

Then we come to her peers, a wannabee rock band and the strange guy called Ryder, who saves her from a couple of potentially dangerous boys. As the story develops, we see him in different shades, is he a good guy or not?

It turns out that Amelina may have the solution to all the problems that seem to beset her family. It’s all to do with crystals and gaining the knowledge to use them.

The story never falters, set around Cambridge and its landmarks, we follow Amelina’s journey as she seeks to uncover the reason for her father’s disappearance, why is he so different now that he’s back? Surely, this must also hold the key to her mother’s behaviour, explain why she’s so uptight and unwilling to talk about anything.

She must learn to use the power that she discovers she has; while dealing with all the other things that your average teenager has going on. The narrative is well thought out and we can see the development of Amelina as we are pulled by the strength of the writing towards the final pages.

All the characters are all well drawn and fit together perfectly. The things that Amelina finds and uses, from her paints to her drums are well thought out and well described. There’s a bit of fantasy, as well as some beautifully written dream sequences.

The overall world-building creates a wonderful, spiritual atmosphere. There’s a bit of poetry at the start of every chapter, a nice touch which leads us into the action. The story bravely tackles issues of mental health and self-harm, but in such a sensitive way that it can only help improve understanding.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, it resonated on so many levels, I understand a sequel is in progress, that will be on my list.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B074CDJPY9

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

Find more reviews and follow M.J. Mallon on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Connect to Marjorie Mallon via her website: https://mjmallon.com/

And last but not least today.. a review for Book Four (including the prequel) in the Escaping Psychiatry Series: Deadly Quotes by Olga Nunez Miret

About Deadly Quotes

Death by natural causes. That was the official explanation. Until they found the quote.
Killing isn’t as difficult as people think. In fact it can be quite easy.

Was it a novel the dead man had been writing? Was it an eerie suicide note? Was it murder?
Mary Miller and Leah Deakin, friends and doctors, are not sure there is a case worth investigating but are intrigued. Could a serial killer behind bars have orchestrated another killing spree? Can the clues be found in his own autobiography?

The fourth book in the Escaping Psychiatry series sees Mary, psychiatrist, survivor of attempted rape and murder, and amateur crime investigator by default, team up with Leah Deakin, an FBI pathologist, in a case that pitches them against a man who loves to play mortal games. Will they be able to stop him? And at what price?

If you enjoy reading gripping psychological thrillers, prefer strong female protagonists, feel oddly attracted to ultraintelligent and twisted baddies, and can’t get enough of challenging mysteries, you shouldn’t miss this novel.

One of the recent reviews for Deadly Quotes

This is Book 3 in the captivating Mary Miller series where Mary gets involved with fellow doctor and pathologist Leah Deakin to solve the mysterious new serial killings case of Deadly Quotes.The author Nunez-Miret uses her expert knowledge as a real life psychiatrist to bring to life in her investigative characters and pulls it off perfectly – like watching a real-life crime drama.

We are engrossed in this tale of murder where the suspect is already in jail. This is an intriguing start to the story which progresses with the discoveries of some new dead bodies and only quotes left behind on the corpses’ computers, taken from a book written by a serial killer still in jail. The investigation keeps us glued to wanting to know the facts as much as the investigators do and keeps us wondering if the killer in jail is responsible for these killings or could it possibly be a copycat killer.

I’m not about to give out spoilers here, but if you love a good mystery with well written investigative story, you will love this book as well as the others in this series. These Mary Miller mysteries are all standalone reads, so don’t feel like you have to have read the others, although well worth the reads, to keep up with the mysteries.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Deadly-Quotes-Escaping-Psychiatry-3-ebook/dp/B07JL5Q26N

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Deadly-Quotes-Escaping-Psychiatry-3-ebook/dp/B07JL5Q26N

A selection of books in Spanish or English by Olga Nunez Miret

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Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/author/olganm

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Olga-Núñez-Miret/e/B009UC58G0

Read more reviews and follow Olga on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6562510.Olga_N_ez_Miret

Audio books http://authortranslatorolga.com/my-audiobooks/

Connect to Olga via her blog: http://authortranslatorolga.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with a book or two under your arm.. thanks Sally.

 

 

 

Serendipity


Something to end the Easter holidays with love and hope. Eloise de Sousa and her family suffered the loss of their beloved dog Henry a few months ago.. a chance meeting with an old friend led to a wonderful gift.

Thoughts by Mello-Elo

I often enjoy writing about fortuitous moments in life where everything aligns to create a happy happenstance. This week has been no different…

View original post 636 more words

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – Easter Parades, Short Stories, books and guests.


Welcome to the posts you might have missed during the last 8 days… a little later than usual as I have been taking advantage of the wonderful weather over Easter and have been away from the screen for most of each day.

The two Easter parades have been great fun for me to put together and I am thrilled with the wonderful behatted guests who have participated. A little music, dancing, funnies and genuinely lovely people who are all very supportive of me and the blog.

It is not too late to pop in and add the link to your latest post and your Amazon Link.

How many of these guests or their representatives do you recognise?

Easter Parade Saturday.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/20/smorgasbord-easter-parade-blog-party-part-one-eggellent-time-to-add-your-links-music-dancing-food-and-behatted-guests/


https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/22/smorgasbord-easter-parade-blog-party-part-two-music-dancing-food-behatted-guests-and-time-to-drop-you-links/

And here are the other posts from the week.

William Price King shares the life and music of jazz pianist/electric keyboardist and composer Chick Corea.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/16/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-jazz-pianist-electric-keyboardist-and-composer-chick-corea/

The House by the Sea  by Paul Andruss – The final three episodes

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/20/smorgasbord-blogs-from-my-archives-the-house-by-the-sea-part-three-by-paul-andruss/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/21/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-the-house-by-the-sea-part-four-by-paul-andruss/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/22/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-the-house-by-the-sea-final-part-by-paul-andruss/

This week Carol Taylor and I share the foods you need to include in your diet to ensure you do not become deficient in Vitamin B5.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/17/smorgasbord-health-column-cook-from-scratch-to-prevent-nutritional-deficiency-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-vitamin-b5-pantothenic-acid/

This month Silvia Todesco shares a recipe for a special sugar glazed pie that uses up your fruit that is going squishy…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-italian-cookery-with-silvia-todesco-fresh-fruit-pie-with-sugar-glaze-dessert/

My review for Survival of the Fittest (Book 1 of The Crossroads Trilogy) by Jacqui Murray

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/17/smorgasbord-book-reviews-survival-of-the-fittest-book-1-of-the-crossroads-trilogy-by-jacqui-murray/

A Haibun – The Circles of Life

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/17/smorgasbord-poetry-haibun-circles-of-life-by-sally-cronin/

This week in the R’s of Life I look at the billions of dollars spent in regulated and non-regulated cosmetic surgeries and procedures in an effort to look young.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/16/smorgasbord-something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-survival-in-the-modern-world-rejuvenation/

Donna Hill shares the retirement process for guide dogs and how they can be absorbed into the family or extended family.

Hunter, Donna's black Lab guide dog, on Hill's Pond-Berm Trail with blooming yellow Birdsfoot Trefoil, Showing his Gray in Summer of 2013: photo by Rich Hill.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/15/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-retiring-guide-dogs-no-one-size-fits-all-solution-by-donna-w-hill/

Miriam Hurdle shares the story of her brother-in-law and the challenge of waiting for a perfect match.

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/16/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-kidney-transplant-a-good-match-by-miriam-hurdle/

This week Susanne Swanson introduces us to Benji – the runt of the litter who soars in his dreams.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/19/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-cats-in-my-dreams-i-soar-by-susanne-swanson/

Patty Fletcher shares a difficult time during her first experience of Seeing Eye Dog training school being away from home at Easter.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/19/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-the-easter-bunny-came-after-all-by-patty-fletcher/

I share more of the contributors to this anthology of interviews with fellow authors who have experienced significant life events.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/16/smorgasbord-special-feature-understanding-an-anthology-of-true-and-significant-life-events-contributors-lucy-v-hay-miriam-hurdle-phil-huston/

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/smorgasbord-special-feature-understanding-an-anthology-of-true-and-significant-life-events-contributors-pamela-jessen-lynda-mckinney-lambert-and-jaye-marie/

New Book on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-delilah-and-the-dark-god-the-eternal-realm-book-2-by-fiona-tarr/

Author Update – Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/15/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-deborah-jay-julia-benally-robbie-cheadle-and-elsie-hancy-eaton/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/19/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-sue-coletta-james-j-cudney-and-lucinda-e-clarke/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/16/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-what-were-they-thinking-part-one-and-a-joke-from-the-archives/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-what-were-they-thinking-part-two-and-a-joke-from-the-archives/

 

Thank you very much for dropping in through the week and today, I hope that you had a peaceful Easter and that the tragic events in Sri Lanka did not touch your lives.  Sally

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – The House by the Sea – Final Part by Paul Andruss


Yesterday Patrick Noone discovered the joy and freedom of life beneath and in the waves of the sea with Muireann. Sadness enters his life however and his swimming lessons are put on hold. Will this mysterious woman wait for him? Paul Andruss takes us into the final chapter.

THE HOUSE BY THE SEA –Final Part by Paul Andruss

A month short of being twenty-one, Patrick was summoned home from work to meet a fancy lawyer from the country town. Biddy, with a deference Patrick had never seen before in his life, showed him into the parlour, previously only used for Pat’s funeral, and meekly poured tea, served in her best china. She indicated Patrick to sit down in one of the good armchairs; and him in his rough and shite and all.

The lawyer began without preamble. ‘Patrick Noone, on reaching your majority, you will inherit your father’s share of his business, this house, freehold and without lien, and a capital sum standing at a little over two thousand five hundred pounds, representing invested profits. As you are probably aware your aunt was able to draw on this for your support over the years, however it must be said, she has behaved admirably.

‘I have been instructed to inform you by your father’s old partner, a Mr O’Leary, now of Cork, he would like you to take your place in the firm. I believe he was kept abreast of your upbringing by your aunt.’

Biddy nodded.

‘Is it to do with my father’s fishing boat?’ Patrick asked Biddy.

The lawyer answered. ‘I believe that was the original company. However Mr. O’Leary subsequently built up a successful business of three merchant cargo steamers. He is making a very generous offer.

‘I do understand this is a lot to digest, young man; hence my early announcement. As I am affiliated to the company’s legal firm, I am instructed to offer whatever guidance you require over the coming month.’

Picking up his satchel, the lawyer took out a sheaf of papers. ‘I would suggest you review these and that we meet in my office in a fortnight to discuss your questions. I will send an appointment letter.’ He looked Patrick up and down. ‘I also suggest I introduce you to my tailor.’

He put out his hand for Patrick to shake and rather awkwardly Patrick stood to take the proffered hand in his own dirty paw. The lawyer’s expression did not change at all.

‘Delighted, I will see you in two weeks then.’

‘So what are yer thinkin?’ Biddy asked after the lawyer left.

‘I’m not too sure what I’m thinking.’

‘Give it time,’ Biddy answered.

After telling Ron the foreman, Patrick asked if he could carry on working, until they replaced him. He had wanted to say until he had decided what to do but thought Ron would not believe him. He barely believed himself. He said he would have to go home each night rather than sleeping in the camp. There were papers to look at, and things to think about.

In truth, the only thing Patrick wanted to think about was Muireann. He wanted to know if he had lost her forever. Each evening he’d stand on the beach, looking forlornly out to sea, praying she’d appear. When it got too dark, he’d reluctantly head off home. One precious night, he saw a solitary dark head break the waves. Carelessly he ran into the surf, calling out her name; slapping the water, shouting himself hoarse. By some miracle she came, swimming through the wine dark sea under a violet sky.

Peering through the deepening gloom, his heart sank every time he lost her in the swell and surged as she reappeared. Suddenly the head appeared so close he could clearly see it was a curious seal. For a few long seconds, it stared at him with large dark eyes, before diving underwater.

He swore there and then in his anguish if he could but see her one more time. Mermaid, fairy; no matter what she was, he would declare undying love and put his life in her hands. Declare it while he could: before his whole life changed and she was forever lost.

Walking back to the house Patrick thought he heard singing on the wind, faint but unmistakeable, like the song that haunted his childhood dreams. That night he prayed. He who never prayed, who had never asked anyone for anything, prayed to God and Jesus and the Holy Mother, to Jude, the patron saint of lost causes, to his mother in case she was in heaven, and his Uncle Pat and his father who already were.

The next day, at twilight, Patrick’s prayers were answered. Muireann waited on the beach wearing her antique green dress. Heart singing, he ran to her. All he wanted to do was sweep her up in his arms. To kiss her, and to have her kiss him back. She stopped him before he could touch her.

‘I tried to stay away’, she told him, ‘but seeing you unhappy…’

‘I knew it was you.’

She hushed him. ‘I am not what you think.’

I don’t care what you are. I love you.’

‘And I love you too. I always have, for your whole life. ’ she replied. ‘Patrick, I am your mother.’

He felt as if the whole world was falling in. He couldn’t speak; couldn’t look at her.

Her voice was gentle. ‘We of the Selkie live in the sea, only casting off our seal skins to come ashore. If our skins are taken we remain prisoners on dry land.’

‘My father?’

‘I loved your father Patrick, loved him so much I gave up everything. We hatched a plan to keep my seal skin locked securely in a chest. He said he would always wear the key over his heart, as a sign of our love. I returned with you one day to find his sister in the house. The chest dragged from its hiding pace with lid flung open. My sealskin, draped over a chair, had lost its sheen. It looked stiff and dry as old leather. It brought tears to my eyes. I was filled irrational longing.

‘He told me to tell you he doesn’t love you any more,’ his sister told me as I stared at my unloved skin. ‘Said, I should burn that auld thing.

‘How could it not be true? She knew our greatest secret. He must have given her the key to open the chest. Madness descended on me. I was afraid she would take my skin and throw it in the fire. I snatched it up. She grabbed you. ‘Go’, she snarled, ‘he wants you gone.’

‘All I could think was to save my skin; to bring back its gloss and shine. As soon as I felt the cold caress of the waves, felt my two skins bond, my form change, I remembered she had you. But what could I do? You were born without a skin. And I was unable to step on land until a year passed for each year spent in mortal form.’

His mother’s large brown eyes filled with tears. ‘I used to sing to you. Did you hear me?’

He nodded slowly, blubbering, ‘He never stopped loving you. He thought you left him; was terrified you’d come for me.’

His mother hugged him, tenderly pulling down his head to nestle in the crook between her shoulder and neck, gently stroking his hair. Although Patrick was taller and broader than she, he instinctively knew these were the arms he remembered caressing him as a child.

‘I know he loved me. I was the one who found him,’ she gently told her son. ‘He swam too long, too far, searching for me. The key, our key was still around his neck. And then I knew she lied. And he did too. Knew she’d betrayed the secret he shared with the sister he loved.

‘I brought him home to the strand in front of the house, waiting with him all night until the sky grew pale. I saw you leave for school, with her waving you off at the door. I waited until you were gone and called out.

‘Although she only heard the bark of a seal, she knew it was me. She seized the axe from the woodpile and came charging down the beach. When she saw him, she knew. I saw it in her face; all her schemes born from bitterness unravelling.

‘She dropped the axe, falling down in a heap, weeping and keening over what she’d done.

We stayed until the sun rose high, wife and sister with the man they loved, who had each thought in their own way to make him happy and between them destroyed him.

‘When she stopped crying she looked up, blowing her nose on her sleeve. It seemed as if some part was broken, or something inside had died. I turned back to the sea leaving her alone with her sin.’

When he got home, Patrick told Biddy he had met his mother on the beach. Biddy said nothing, putting out the dinner in silence. When he was in bed she knocked on his door and came uninvited into his room.

‘It wasn’t what you think,’ she began. ‘I was at me wits end with yer poor Uncle Pat shivering in two damp rooms an her, that godless creature, throwing the fact she wanted for nothing in me face; what with yer father, and you, and this fine big house.’

Patrick said nothing, pretending to be asleep until Biddy stumbled to a halt and left. Unable to sleep he got up before first light and made his way to work. Taking foreman Ron to one side he asked for his due wages. With none to be had until Saturday, the lads had a whip round scraping together what they could. A passing cart gave him a lift to the station up the line. From there took the train to the country town, where he told the lawyer he would like to take up Mr O’Leary’s offer. He then instructed the lawyer to sell the house by the sea and settle an adequate sum on his aunt.

Arriving in Cork Patrick lodged with Mr O’Leary and his wife. In time he fell in love with and married Mr O’Leary’s eldest daughter Kathleen. An arrangement, that must be said, suited all parties. His aunt did not come to the wedding; although his cousin did.

Patrick’s cousin was a pretty young thing. Some might call her beautiful with her thick dark curls and large soulful eyes that turned many a young man’s head at the wedding party. Although some young women cattily remarked, as some will when alone together at social gatherings where they feel ignored, that the darkness of her eyes, hair and brows left her skin looking pale as ivory and her generous lips quite pinched and bloodless.

©Paul Andruss 2018

© Image The Colour of Life Geoff Cronin

I am sure that you have enjoyed this story as much as I have and a huge thanks to Paul for the enormous amount of time spent in writing it for us.

About Paul Andruss

Paul Andruss is a writer whose primary focus is to take a subject, research every element thoroughly and then bring the pieces back together in a unique and thought provoking way. His desire to understand the origins of man, history, religion, politics and the minds of legends who rocked the world is inspiring. He does not hesitate to question, refute or make you rethink your own belief system and his work is always interesting and entertaining. Whilst is reluctant to talk about his own achievements he offers a warm and generous support and friendship to those he comes into contact with.

Paul is the author of two books and you can find out more by clicking the image.

Finn Mac CoolThomas the Rhymer

Connect to Paul on social media.

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/paul.andruss.9
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Paul_JHBooks

Thank you for visiting and enjoy the rest of the week. Sally.

Smorgasbord Easter Parade Blog Party – Part Two – Music, dancing, food, Behatted guests and time to drop you links.


Welcome to the Smorgasbord Easter Parade part two with more behatted guests, music, dancing, humour and food. And since you have dropped in today.. please don’t leave without leaving the link to your latest post…. or your Amazon link and a little bit about yourself.

It is a beautiful day here and whilst you are waiting for the parade to begin here is something spectacular for you to join in with…

The first guest in the parade today has been providing the funnies for the blog over the last few months, even when she was basking in the sun in Mexico…most of you will already be enjoying her monthly D.G. Kaye Travel Column Debby Gies has gone all out with not just her hat today but her entire outfit….Debby has jetted in overnight from Canada to be with us.

About D.G. Kaye – Debby Gies

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Books by D.G. Kaye

Read the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO – Read more reviews and follow Debby: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads
Follow Debby on her blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com

Debby has also supplied the funnies for the parade…

The next guest in the parade has flown in from Texas to join the party. Thriller/Paranormal author John W. Howell delights the readers of his blog with short stories and also personal musings by his two dogs.. who seem to have him wrapped around their little paws!

About John Howell

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the tension. The final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016 concludes the thriller series. John’s fourth book Circumstances of Childhood, launched in October of 2017 tells a different thriller story of riches to rags, football, Wall Street, brotherly love, redemption, and inspiration with a touch of paranormal to keep you riveted. The fifth book is a collaboration with the ​award-winning author, Gwen Plano titled The Contract. Heavenly bodies become concerned about the stability of the Earth and send two of their own to risk eternal salvation in order to save the planet. The Contract achieved number one status in its genre. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

A selection of books by John W. Howell


Discover all the books and read the reviews: http://www.amazon.com/John-W.-Howell/e/B00HMRWO6C Read more reviews and follow John: John Howell Goodreads
Connect to John via his blog: https://johnwhowell.com/

Please help yourselves to coffee and macaroons...

My next guest has crossed the Irish Sea which was thankfully calm last night, to be part of the parade.. author Stevie Turner recently compiled and contributed to an amazing anthology with articles for 19 authors (including me) on significant aspects of life Proceeds to Cancer Research – you can find out more here Understanding – Significant Aspects of Life

As you can see Stevie loves a bit of rock ‘n’ roll….

About Stevie Turner

Stevie Turner works part time as a medical secretary in a busy NHS hospital and writes suspense, women’s fiction, and darkly humorous novels in her spare time. She won a New Apple Book Award in 2014 and a Readers’ Favorite Gold Award in 2015 for her book ‘A House Without Windows’, and one of her short stories, ‘Checking Out’, was published in the Creative Writing Institute’s 2016 anthology ‘Explain!’ Her psychological thriller ‘Repent at Leisure’ won third place in the 2016 Drunken Druid Book Award contest.

Stevie lives in the East of England, and is married with two sons and four grandchildren. She has also branched out into the world of audio books, screenplays, and translations. Most of her novels are now available as audio books, and one screenplay, ‘For the Sake of a Child’, won a silver award in the Spring 2017 Depth of Field International Film Festival. ‘A House Without Windows’ gained the attention of a New York media production company in December 2017. Some of Stevie’s books are currently being translated into German, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.

A very small selection of books by Stevie Turner

Discover all the books and read the reviews: http://www.amazon.com/Stevie-Turner/e/B00AV7YOTURead more reviews and follow Stevie on Goodreads: Stevie Turner
Connect to Stevie via her website:http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk/

Now time for a little more entertainment…the Easter parade is a place for all to gather, even those who have passed away and who hopefully are still dancing somewhere… including my parents. This is for all of them and our enjoyment.

My next guest is the lovely Robbie Cheadle who has sent representatives all the way from South Africa to the parade.. Her two sons Michael, who co-writes the Sir Chocolate series of stories and cookbooks.. and Gregory who keeps them both in order and provides much needed social media support.

This was taken when they were a little bit younger wearing stunning top hats.

About Robbie Cheadle

Robbie Cheadle was born in London in the United Kingdom. Her father died when she was three months old and her mother immigrated to South Africa with her tiny baby girl. Robbie has lived in Johannesburg, George and Cape Town in South Africa and attended fourteen different schools. This gave her lots of opportunities to meet new people and learn lots of social skills as she was frequently “the new girl”.

Robbie is a qualified Chartered Accountant and specialises in corporate finance with a specific interest in listed entities and stock markets. Robbie has written a number of publications on listing equities and debt instruments in Africa and foreign direct investment into Africa.

Robbie is married to Terence Cheadle and they have two lovely boys, Gregory and Michael. Michael (aged 11) is the co-author of the Sir Chocolate series of books and attends school in Johannesburg. Gregory (aged 14) is an avid reader and assists Robbie and Michael with filming and editing their YouTube videos and editing their books.

A small selection of books by Robbie Cheadle

Discover all the books and read the reviews:https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ Find more reviews and follow Robbie on Goodreads: Robbie Cheadle Connect to Robbie via her blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

Please help yourself to some sandwiches as you walk passed the stands..

My next guest, Sue Vincent, has also sent a representative as she is busy this weekend. I have a sneaky suspicion that her beloved small black dog Ani, is not quite sure about getting the ferry across on her own and being billeted in our house for the weekend… but I am sure a little Irish Cheddar will do the trick.. Ani is an author in her own right…with proceeds going towards a tennis ball launcher…About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire born writer currently living in the south of England, largely due to an unfortunate incident with a map, a pin and a blindfold. Raised in a spiritually eclectic family she has always had an unorthodox view on life, particularly the inner life, which is often reflected in her writing, poetry and paintings.

Sue lived in France for several years, sharing a Bohemian lifestyle and writing songs before returning to England where the youngest of her two sons was born. She began writing and teaching online several years ago, and was invited to collaborate with Dr G Michael Vasey on their book, “The Mystical Hexagram: The Seven Inner Stars of Power” (Datura Press).

Since then she has published a number of books, beginning with “Sword of Destiny”, a magical tale set in the ancient landscape of Yorkshire. Her retelling of the Egyptian myths, “The Osiriad”, came shortly afterwards along with the Triad of Albion – “The Initiate”, “Heart of Albion” and “Giants Dance” in collaboration with Stuart France. These books tell a factual tale in a fictional manner, that is at once a journey into the landscape, myth and iconography of Albion and the story of a growing and rather oddball friendship.

Sue, along with Steve Tanham and Stuart France, is a Director of the Silent Eye School of Consciousness, an international modern Mystery School that seeks to allow its students to find the inherent magic in living and being. http://www.thesilenteye.co.uk

A very small selection of books by Sue Vincent (and Ani)

Discover all of Sue Vincent’s books and read the reviews: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sue-Vincent/e/B00F2L730W Read more reviews and follow Sue on Goodreads: Sue Vincent Connect to Sue via her blog: http://scvincent.com/

Time for a little more entertainment.and something I am sure Ani would be keen to join in with…courtesy of the amazing partnership – FCI Dog dance World Championship 2016 – Winner freestyle – Yvonne Belin and Alice (Switzerland):  Videos from Freestyle&HTM World Championship 2016 Mos

My next guest is crime fiction/children’s author Eloise de Sousa who has brought company along with he. Eloise says she sits at her computer some days, contemplating murder.. and passion and adventure.. when she is not in her bat cave she is mum to four children, four cats and a dog called Henry…

About Eloise de Sousa

Finding heroes and villains is easy – capturing their essence in a story is harder.
Eloise thrives on creating characters that make you want to reach into the book and shake them, hug them or arrest them. Her children’s books follow real life trends told through easy stories that face bullying or social issues which open children’s minds to the opportunity to question the world around them.

With the few books written thus far, Eloise plans to capture more villains and weave more tales to inspire or frighten her readers (whichever is appropriate!). She will be publishing a few more stories in the coming months.

A small selection of books by Eloise

Discover all the books and read the reviews: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eloise-De-Sousa/e/B00JKTFVXIFind more reviews and follow Eloise on Goodreads: Eloise De Sousa – Follow Eloise on her blog: http://eloisedesousa.wordpress.com

My next guest is poet Willow Willers who is sporting a dashing flat cap. Willow has been nominated for the best lifestyle blog in the Bloggers Bash Awards this year and you can find out more at this LINK

About Willow Willers

I am the mum of three boys all now grown and flown to live their own lives. Luckily they do keep in touch and visit often. I now have two beautiful grandsons.

When I started this blog I had not long come home from hospital after an accident in which I broke my back. I was in hospital for a month and had three operations.

It has taken me a long time to recover, I am still recovering but every day my body is getting stronger.It has taken a huge toll on me mentally I had to retire early on health grounds, I had to come to terms with finding out people I thought were friends were not. I had to make a new life for myself. Things I could do easily have become difficult.

Writing poetry and prose has helped me a great deal, in fact I think it has saved my life.

You can find one of Willow’s stories here: Vlad

and you can follow Willow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/willow.willers.7

Time for another Flash Mob on your feet.. this time Pharrell Williams with Happy from Italy. Marco Squeglia

We are nearly at the end of the parade with just three more guests, the first of which is Marian Beaman..who is looking very swish as she arrives from the USA. Since beginning her blog in 2013, she has uncovered nostalgic photos, letters, and artifacts from her two Longenecker homes in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, many of which are featured on blog on Wednesdays such as her latest: http://marianbeaman.com/2019/04/17/easter-2019-memories-mother/

About Marian Beaman

My love of books, along with a connection to students and colleagues, has made my years in education pure joy. I have spent more than 40 years teaching, finishing my career with 21 years at Florida State College in Jacksonville.

Writing dovetails with reading and teaching. My academic writing includes a multi-colored array of topics, ranging from “A Thousand Acres: Not King Lear in a Cornfield” for the American Popular Culture Association and “It’s Not Easy Being Green, Wal-Mart and Me,” recounting my neighborhood struggle to keep large oaks and tall pines from biting the dust.

Former Mennonite with a Writing Habit

A dream came true when I presented and published “God: Myth and Mystery from the Romantics through the Twentieth Century: Informing Global Religious Conflict” in magical Oxford, England. In 2011 Bedford St. Martin’s textbooks published “Facilitating Cooperative Learning,” the mantra of my most effective teaching techniques.

Now in my Third Act, I’ve embraced creative non-fiction with “Gutsy In Ukraine,” published in Sonia Marsh’s My Gutsy Story Anthology (2014), Volume 2. In September 2016, my story “Making Love Edible: Lessons from Fanny Martin Longenecker” was published in The Mennonite magazine. In the fall 2018 issue, The Arts & Antiques show magazine published my article in Patient Profiles.

My work in progress is tentatively titled A Mennonite Daughter: Thorns and Roses, a memoir that reveals family secrets.

You can discover more of Marian’s posts via her blog: http://marianbeaman.com/ You can also follow Marian on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marian.beaman

My next guest has taken the request for fancy headgear to heart and please welcome poet Miriam Hurdle who is looking very fetching in Easter Bunny Ears.. Miriam is one of the contributors to the Posts from Your Archives series including her latest inspiring story about her brother-in-law’s kidney transplant: Kidney Transplant: A Good Match

About Miriam Hurdle.

Miriam Hurdle is a multi-genre writer. She writes poetry, flash fiction, and short stories. Her poems are included in Letters to Gaia, Whispers and Echoes Issue 2, Whispers and Echoes Issue 3, and Outcast and More Words.

Music has rooted in her life. Being a soloist as a teenager led her to taking voice lessons and to have ongoing singing engagements. She continues to sing soprano in choral groups. Lyrics have a major influence in the natural flow of her melodic writing. She writes memoir in the form of poetry.

Along with her brother, she took photos when the films were black and white. Photography is still her enjoyable hobby. Drawing and painting were fun activities as a child. Her favorite was to draw a Japanese girl with big eyes, long hair, small lips and chin. She resumed drawing and watercolor painting several years ago. In her poetry collection, photos and paintings are included to illustrate the poems.

She earned a Doctorate of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public school teaching and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California.

Read the reviews for Songs of the Heartstrings: https://www.amazon.com/Songs-Heartstrings-Poems-Gratitude-Beatitude-ebook/dp/B07K1S47W9 Read more reviews on Goodreads: Miriam Hurdle  Follow Miriam on her blog: https://theshowersofblessings.com/

As it is still very warm… please grab a glass of water on your way passed the stand….

My final guest is poet and fantasy author  M. J. Mallon (Marjorie) who joins us from the UK and looks like she is making the most of the wonderful weather on the crossing to Ireland….Not only an author but a prolific book reviewer with over 100 for you to read on her blog : : https://mjmallon.com/2015/09/28/a-z-of-my-book-reviews/

About Marjorie Mallon

I am a debut author who has been blogging for three years: https://mjmallon.com. My interests include writing, photography, poetry, and alternative therapies. I write Fantasy YA, and middle grade fiction as well as micropoetry – haiku and tanka.

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros! I was born on the 17th of November in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit,) second child and only daughter to my proud parents Paula and Ronald. I grew up in a mountainous court in the Peak District in Hong Kong with my elder brother Donald. My parents dragged me away from my exotic childhood and my much loved dog Topsy to the frozen wastelands of Scotland. In bonnie Edinburgh I mastered Scottish country dancing, and a whole new Och Aye lingo.

As a teenager I travelled to many far-flung destinations to visit my abacus wielding wayfarer dad. It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and my two enchanted daughters.

You can read the reviews for The Curse of Time : https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L/There are more reviews and you can follow Marjorie on Goodreads: M. J. Mallon  Follow Marjorie on her website/blog: https://mjmallon.com/about/

And not just time to thank you for dropping in today and pleased don’t forget to add the links to your latest posts and to Amazon for your books… Thanks and Happy Easter… Sally.

I thought we would end with another ABBA track…one to get everyone on their feet to follow the parade. 

Smorgasbord Reblog – Piety, Pranks and Parties: Easter medieval style by Alli Templeton


As I am having Easter Sunday more or less off… I am going to post the usual Weekly Round Up tomorrow after the second Parade.

However, I thought that this post was excellent and that you would enjoy reading today… from Alli Templeton, is shares the shenanigans that our Medieval ancestors got up to from the beginning of Lent through to Easter Sunday…Please follow the link to read the entire post.

Piety, Pranks and Parties: Easter medieval style by Alli Templeton

In medieval times, life revolved around the church, and the year was marked out by a series of religious festivals, customs and holidays of which Christmas and Easter were the main events. But contrary to many a modern perception, people in the Middle Ages had more time off than we do today. And although there was a good deal of attending church and religious rituals and processions, these did bring the community together, and they also knew how to kick back and have fun.

The Easter period would start with Shrove Tuesday, a secular holiday involving boisterous games and sports. After this, the fun gave way to the fasting period of Lent, when churches were hung with veils and crosses shrouded. Little observed today, if anything we brace ourselves to give up chocolate or booze for the requisite 40 days, but they took it much more seriously in the Middle Ages. Several foods were forbidden, including meat and eggs, so the diet switched to fish. But 40 days of fish could turn into a long old slog, and some people got sick of it, as can be seen by a letter written by a 15th century schoolboy: “Thou wilt not believe how weary I am of fish, and how much I desire that flesh were come again, for I have ate none other than salt fish this Lent.” Poor lad.

Medieval Lent fish.jpgThey ate a lot of fish in Lent!

Please head over to read the rest of this fascinating post about Easter…https://medievalwanderings.com/2019/04/20/piety-pranks-and-parties-easter-medieval-style/

About me

About Alli Templeton

Greetings one and all, and welcome to my humble blog, a place where you can escape the madness of modernity and lose yourself in another time – a far distant time, when people lived a different life by different rules.

I’m a mum of two, a student of history with the Open University, a longbowman and a keen walker. And I have a passion. A driving, all-consuming passion for castles and all things medieval. I became this way thanks to just one TV programme and one book (more on those later), and together they completely changed my life. My long-standing passing interest in history grew overnight, like Jack’s fabled beanstalk, as I learned the wonderful stories and met the colourful characters that peppered these lands during the Middle Ages. It was as though a switch had been flicked on and my world lit up. The medieval period is crammed with big personalities, vibrant colours and fascinating tales, and it’s my mission to bring them all back to life.

Now I combine my two loves of walking and medieval history, as I wander back in time as often as I can. I wander, and I wonder. I also have a pilots licence, so occasionally I’ll even fly over a castle and admire its magnificent and enduring presence within the landscape. The more I learn of the Middle Ages, the deeper I fall in love with the people, their intriguing lives and the stunning buildings they left behind.

So join me on a quest through a thousand years of the best stories, and places our islands have to offer.

We ride at dawn…

Connect to Alli via her blog and discover her other wonderful posts on this rich historical era: https://medievalwanderings.com/

Smorgasbord Reblog – The High School Reunion – Have You Ever Attended One? by D.G. Kaye


Author D.G. Kaye (Debby Gies) recently attended her High School Reunion and shares the experience.. and asks if you have been to one and your reactions.

friends

The High School Reunion – Have You Ever Attended One? by D. G. Kaye

While I was away on winter vacation, one of my oldest school friends, Cindy, who I grew up with since aged 7, Facebook messaged me that there was going to be a high school reunion, called the ‘Birthday reunion’, because most of us would be celebrating a big scary birthday this year. I told Cindy, I’d think about it and get back to her.

I pondered going, off and on, right up until the day of the event. I was never one who attended such events, but I seriously gave it some thought. My first thoughts were to not go as I’d declined two other invitations over the decades. My logic was that while in high school, I didn’t socialize much with anyone except a very few students and my friend Cindy, her then boyfriend who became her husband, and Cindy’s younger sister.

My high school was out of my living district, which had me taking a 1/2 mile walk to the bus and 3 consecutive buses to get to school and back daily – save for those days after I got my licence and managed to take my mother’s car to school because most often she was picked up for her daily socializing jaunts, or when Cindy got her own car and we’d ride together. And most of my friends went to the school in my designated living area. William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate Institute was known as a highly academic high school with a gifted program. Several students from that school went on to become successful lawyers, doctors, politicians and writers. Another notable from my high school, ironically, didn’t finish high school, got expelled and went on to become a Hollywood star with Deal or No Deal and now America’s Got Talent – Howie Mandel. He was a few years ahead of me and ironically, my mother was friend’s with his mother but I didn’t know him well, but I rode the bus with his brother Steve to school for years.

I was an awkward teen with no sense of self-esteem and felt like the Ugly Duckling most of my school life. No boys ever looked twice at me and most of the girls traveled in packs or what I often refer to as ‘cliques’. For a girl who was always thinking and had a lot to say about everything, I was quite introverted and timid while in school and didn’t form many relationships, which never inspired me to go to any reunions.

I struggled with my decision to go this time. But I finally decided maybe it would be interesting to see some people of the past and find out about how some of their lives progressed, and of course, see what they looked like now. Plus it would be a good time to spend some time with Cindy. I decided that I came a long, long way from high school days, now comfortable in my own skin, an accomplished writer and author, and a bounty of life experience, and maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to go.

The event was held in a lovely but rather small restaurant and patio cafe, but sadly, the weather was so darned cold and actually snowing again, which put a damper on sitting outside on the patio. The food was great, the music totally took me back to my teenage years, and most of the faces I’d drawn a blank to identifying. But thanks to my trustee friend Cindy who stays on top of many social circles, she was able to identify every questionable face I asked her about.The evening somehow transported me back to some memorable moments back in time.

Head over and read the rest of the post and share your experiences of school reunions in Debby’s comment section: https://dgkayewriter.com/high-school-reunion-attended-one/

About D.G. Kaye

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Books by D.G. Kaye

Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

Connect to Debby Gies

Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com
About me: http://www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye7
MeWe: mewe.com/i/debbygies
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (yes there’s a story)
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dgkaye
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/dgkaye7

Catch up with all the travel columns and some exotic destinations: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye/

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – The House by the Sea – Part Four by Paul Andruss


In yesterday’s chapter we meet a woman who seems impervious to the cold as she swims naked in the sea. Patrick Noone is enthralled by her exotic behaviour and agrees to meet her and learn how to swim….Paul Andruss continues the story.

THE HOUSE BY THE SEA – Part Four – Paul Andruss

Biddy wanted to know why he was soaking wet. He could not tell her about the woman. No, he did not want to tell her. So he made up some tall tale about falling in the woods, getting covered in mud from head to foot, and washing himself in the sea. Biddy stared gimlet-eyed like she didn’t believe a word.

‘Yer stupid get,’ she said eventually. ‘Now get outta them wet things an get some aul newspapers stuffed in them boots to dry them out by the stove.’

That night all Patrick thought about was the strange woman. He wasn’t stupid. He knew no ordinary woman could swim naked in a storm-ripped winter sea. It came as no surprise her name was Muireann. He knew the story of Muireann from school; a mermaid caught long ago in Lough Neagh in the North, who became a woman when baptised by some old saint.

All his life Patrick had heard the old stories of mermaids drowning sailors or bad fairies dragging children down to the green weeds of the river bed. But if she’d wanted him dead, she could a done it there and then. She didn’t need to offer to teach him to swim. No, whatever she was, he was sure she meant no harm.

Saturday afternoon found Patrick on the beach. He had taken off his boots and socks, along with his jacket, trousers and shirt, to stand shivering in the wind off the sea, naked except his oldest patched pair of long underpants. The ones he knew Biddy would never miss.

Muireann did not come from the sea, but walked along the wind whipped sand in an faded dress of spoilt green satin and forlorn lace. It looked as if it might have once been worn by a fine lady a hundred years ago. Its long full skirt swept the sand smooth. Its trace washed away in turn by the tide.

The dress was wet and clung to every curve. He thought it strange as her hair and skin were dry. Her thick dark hair curled unbound to the waist. Sleek and glossy, it looked as if it had been brushed until it gleamed. Eyes, dark and lustrous as he remembered, left her skin pale as ivory; her full lips looked bloodless with the cold. He thought her beautiful.

‘Don’t you look handsome,’ she remarked.

Handsome or not he found himself lost for words, and felt his face colour. He stood watching her watching him, as the cold spray plastered the thin fabric of his underpants to every muscle. Without a word she reached out to take his hands and walking backward drew him into the sea.

‘Do not be afraid,’ she he told him.

‘I’m not afraid.’

‘It feels cold at first but that is the wind on the waves. Take a deep breath and fall to me.’

He closed his eyes and squeezing her hands fearfully, did what he was told. There was a moment of panic as his feet went from under him, but her grip held firm. Under the waves it felt warm, or at least not cold. He felt light as air and just as free. He put his head up to take another breath and plunged it back underwater, opening his eyes to a brief sting of salt. He laughed. The air bubbling from of his mouth forced him to find his feet and stand with the waves crashing from waist to chest.

‘Do you like it?’ she asked.

He nodded, eager; greedy; happy as a child on his birthday.

‘A deep breath,’ she instructed.

He breathed and together they plunged beneath the waves.

They say everyone favours one of the four elements. Some breeze through life with laughter in their heart. Some light up the world around them, though they may be changeable as the day is long. Others, solid and dependable, will not be moved if they know they are right. They thirst for justice and are good to have standing at your side in troubled times. Then there are those, often the quiet ones, who run still and deep. Whether they be calm or tempestuous, they do not give love easily. But when they love… ah, when they love, over time that love of theirs will erode mountains.

On Monday Patrick saw Muireann walking along the beach in another antique dress. As luck would have it, or maybe it was a premonition, he had packed his old underpants in his knapsack. After this they met for an hour each evening on his way home to swim together. With the lengthening days and bursting buds, Patrick realised he dreaded the return of spring. Sleeping under the trees night after night seemed a poor substitute with his new taste for the sea.

In his heart he knew this is what his father felt in his fishing boat: the call of the sea; in all her moods. And perhaps there was more. A dark sinister thought crept in, growing like a worm gnawing at his heart. Perhaps his father had known his own Muireann. Perhaps this was this why he drowned, searching for one such as her? Perhaps this was why his mother left?

Day after day he steeled himself to ask Muireann if she knew of his father. Each time he quailed, afraid of what it would mean. If her people were responsible for his father’s death or his mother leaving; where would that leave them?

One Thursday morning, no more than couple of hours after starting work, Sam the Undertaker’s son burst into the logging camp looking for Patrick. His Uncle Pat was dead. Ron the foreman told him to take what time he needed and he’d try not to dock his wages if he could. Although wages were the last thing on Patrick’s mind.

Biddy later told him Pat had died in his sleep. He knew Biddy and Pat slept in different rooms. Pat’s cough kept her up all night leaving her good for nothing. She’d seen him when she took in with his early morning tea. He was so peaceful; not a peep out of him. She thought it would be a kindness to let him sleep; not realising he was already gone.

As darkness fell Patrick grew fretful. Muireann was expecting him. What if he didn’t show? Would she ever come again? But how could he leave Biddy? She had no one else. Reluctantly he closed the curtains, knowing they would not be opened again ‘til after the funeral. There would be no swimming now, no dalliance, at least for a while. It was no comfort to know he was doing the right thing.

The funeral was Saturday afternoon so friends from the logging camp could act as pallbearers. Patrick was not in work but sat with Biddy night and day watching over the body. Friday night everyone turned up for the send-off. Biddy laid on a spread, with a barrel brought from the pub in the drayman’s cart.

It was a good turn-out. There was lots a laughing and singing round the coffin with two fellas from the pub on fiddle and banjo. Near midnight, when the songs were getting maudlin and people shifting uneasily, looking ready to leave, it was time for Pat to go. Biddy went over and opened the window, while respectfully the mourners formed an avenue for his spirit to pass between them out into the night.

The funeral went without a hitch. Everyone came round after. They were subdued for a while, probably nursing hangovers. Some brought a bottle or two by way of commiseration. Wives drifted by with a stew-pot, a spare pie or something else they’d baked. Before anyone knew, it was midnight again and the barrel was finished and the bottles empty and everyone was saying what a great aul fella Paddy was. Though by Jeasus, they’d bothered with him little enough before. And that was that. The man was laid to earth. Biddy and Patrick were expected to get on with it.

After Church on Sunday, there was cold-cuts for dinner and a slice of pie. Claiming a blindin’ head, Biddy went to bed. At a loss Patrick went to the sea. When Muireann wasn’t there, he stripped himself naked and swam until his arms and legs burned. Coming out he realised his eyes were running with tears and he thought it must be the bloody salt water.

For the next week he went to the sea each evening on his way home from work. Muireann had gone. Sometimes he stripped himself and swam. But his heart wasn’t in it. By the month end he was back to work proper and sleeping under the stars, or more often than not under a stretched tarpaulin with the rain drip, drip, dripping off the branches onto the oiled canvass above his head. He missed the sea. But on them nights he missed the sea least of all.

©Paul Andruss 2018

© Images The Colour of Life Geoff Cronin

My thanks again to Paul for this compelling episode in this story and I hope you will pop in tomorrow for the final part.

About Paul Andruss

Paul Andruss is a writer whose primary focus is to take a subject, research every element thoroughly and then bring the pieces back together in a unique and thought provoking way. His desire to understand the origins of man, history, religion, politics and the minds of legends who rocked the world is inspiring. He does not hesitate to question, refute or make you rethink your own belief system and his work is always interesting and entertaining. Whilst is reluctant to talk about his own achievements he offers a warm and generous support and friendship to those he comes into contact with.

Paul is the author of two books and you can find out more by clicking the image.

Finn Mac CoolThomas the Rhymer

Connect to Paul on social media.

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/paul.andruss.9
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Paul_JHBooks

Thanks again for dropping in and hope to see you tomorrow for the final part of the story…Sally.